Now this is something from Microsoft that we're really excited about -- Office Web Apps that take the traditional second pillar of Microsoft's business and launch it up into the iPhone Safari browser-compatible cloud.

We'd prefer a native Microsoft Office for iPhone at this point, of course, but a free (ad supported, though hopefully not with 15-30 sec. un-skippable commercials...) version online? That's a great "good enough for now".

Microsoft has just begun showing off the tech preview, though Techcrunch says the mobile version is still in its infancy:

We mentioned in our original post in July that the ability to use products across the OS, browser, and mobile device is a key part of Microsoft’s strategy. We actually demo’d the Sharepoint-based version of PowerPoint on an iPhone and it was disarmingly sleek. While this functionality has already been established for Sharepoint, the SkyDrive-based apps are still being developed to work on mobile browsers. Microsoft says it will be done by the time the product launches next year.

With Google's Web Apps really raising the bar (and bringing the competitive pressure), it's not surprising to see Microsoft pushing back. And, hey, maybe Apple could get in the game and start doing something more interesting with iWork.com as well...